Medha Patkar & Naxalism inter-linkages?
Everyone who argued that the naxal movement in India is an agrarian movement, born out of the rural disparities and denied development have to get his head flushed with fresh blood. There have been many agrarian movements in India that have achieved and led to rural development. Vinoba Bhave and Jayprakash Narain raised the issue of rural disparity and even politicians like Charan Singh and Babu Jagjivan Ram brought to fore the issue of rural development. They all had their contributions - big and small to the development of rural India and to the status of down-trodden. They did not pull the trigger of a gun nor kidnap a Government official responsible in a line department for development, to demonstrate their ideology or achieve their goals.
But the naxal movement has had strange attributes. It made us all believe that the movement is a reflection of rural and agrarian frustration about lack of development. If it was so, shouldn't they be receptive to the past 20 years of programmes and progress in their heartland by the moderate rulers of elected Governments? Why would they kidnap a collector of 'dalit' background who was known for his orientation to development and good deeds? Why would they kidnap an MLA who himself was a tribal and won the election with a thumping margin of 92000 votes from the tribal heartland? Why would they ambush police parties and the officials entering remote areas on duty to implement developmental schemes? Why would they stop people from reaching electoral booths and vote for a change? Why would they destroy schools and occupy school buildings and terrorize those who want a decent and modest education? Why would they kidnap tour operators and businessmen whose activities could lead to the development of the region? Why would they kill, plant bombs, rampage and destroy lives, infrastructure and property and spread fear and chaos? In a recent television debate on NDTV Mr. Jay Panda, Rajya Sabha member from Orrisa informed that government has constructed roads,school buildings,primary health centers and the electric connections in the remote areas of naxal heartland, as a part of development in those areas, which were earlier cut off from the main heartland. A naxal sympathiser/ideologue also participating in the debate, admitted these fact but could not answer why naxals were destroying these infrastructure, which the government has created for their own benefit.
What do naxals/maoists really want? Is their agrarian and development ideologies are just facades behind which the ugly and violent face of terrorism exists? Are they just another type of underworld terrorists?
There is yet another social brigade which some 8-10 years back operated in a similar fashion in Narmada Vally. Spearheaded by popular personalities like Medha Patkar, ..... etc., this brigade did not lie covered and underground. It operated right royally in the middle of our society and lived in the glory of media and visibility. It propagated a myth that the dalits and Project affected people (PAP) were to be emancipated with development. But when the development came to their door-steps, this brigade of over-world terrorists took to the streets, scuttled the projects, lobbied on international platforms against the country, painted a wrong picture of suffering and stood its ground to oppose everything that could be related to progress.They too had in a similar fashion, like naxals, destroyed schools,seed godowns,health center buildings etc constructed by the government for PAPs and even indulged in large scale violence to prevent the government officials from doing necessary surveys in the affected villages for their proper rehabilitation. When rural people affected by developmental programmes were given compensation, this brigade stood in between and terrorized the beneficiaries from accepting any relief. It separated rural masses from the progress and existed gloriously in the world press.
What do these pseudo-socialists really want? Is their ideology of social justice just a facade behind which their wily intentions and acts of sedition hide? Are they just over-world terrorists?
One group operates from the jungles in the cover of nights and destroys development in the name of naxalism. The other group operates from villages, towns and cities in the light of the day and decimates development. One lies underground while the other exists over-ground.
Similarity of approach and actions between these two groups in opposing much desired development requires a thorough investigation to find out their inter-linkages, if any.
It is time that the society recognized these evil faces for their true worth.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this writing are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of League of India, its Editorial Board or the business and socio-political interests that they might represent.